City Council mulls licensing of sober homes

A proposal for licensing so-called sober homes in Quincy will soon be up for public discussion.

The City Council is proposing a method of licensing sober homes, which operate in residential areas in various Quincy neighborhoods, through the city clerk’s office, which would allow the city to retain the names and contact information for the homes’ owners and managers, and details of how the homes operate.

Adequate parking for sober home residents would also be required, under the proposal.


A public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 in the City Council chambers at City Hall, 1305 Hancock St.

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Sober homes, which have federal protections that limit the regulations local governments can enact, are meant to help people transition from substance-abuse treatment to independent living, and vary in the level of structure they provide residents, according to the Massachusetts Alliance for Sober Housing. Massachusetts offers a voluntary certification program, though sober homes do not need to be certified by the state in order to operate.

City Councilor Brian Palmucci has kept an eye on their operation in Quincy and has hosted public meetings to hear from residents about their views.

Some homes operate without any complaints from the public, but others have caused concern among their neighbors, according to comments from Palumucci and others during a public meeting in June.

Jill Terreri Ramos can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @jillterreri.